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The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) is dedicated to the study and preservation of the cultural heritage of Belgium. Both public institutions and owners of private collections in Belgium and abroad can apply for the conservation, study and documentation of works of art and other heritage items.

Conservation and restoration

Our dedicated team of expert conservators and restorers is committed to preserving, protecting and valorising Belgium's heritage in the best possible way.

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Scientific analyses

The laboratories of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage offer a wide range of scientific analysis techniques to help you study your work of art, historic building or archaeological object.

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Photography, scientific imaging and technical art history

We are dedicated to the technical-art historical study of paintings and to the photographic documentation of works of art and archaeological objects. We use radiography and infrared reflectography to reveal the secrets of each object.

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Art historical research

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Conservation and restoration

A team of 35 experts makes every effort to preserve, protect and valorise our heritage in the best possible way. Our conservator-restorers are each specialised in specific objects, materials and/or periods. They have extensive experience and an extensive international network. Thanks to their interdisciplinary approach, in close collaboration with the laboratories and the Imagery Unit of our institution, they can advise, carry out and follow up even the most complex conservation and restoration projects.

There is one important condition that the artwork or heritage object must meet in order to be considered: we only focus on pieces of high quality, with an important (art) historical value or with an added value for scientific research.

Scientific analyses

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Photography, scientific imaging and technical art history

The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage plays a pioneering role in the application of photography and scientific imaging to the research and conservation of Belgium's art heritage. Armed with many years of experience and top-quality instruments, we devote ourselves to the technical-art historical study of paintings and to the recording and study of works of art: in photographs, by radiography or with infrared reflectography. Would you like to use our services? We will be happy to help you choose the most appropriate study.

Art historical research

The art historians of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage form a team of renowned connoisseurs who focus on (mainly) Belgian art and Belgian artists. They give initial advice on the identification of works of art that correspond to their specialisation, or refer you to the right expert. In tandem with our photographers, the art historians work on the online cultural heritage inventory BALaT. For advice on 15th-century painting from our region, you can visit our Centre for the Study of Flemish Primitives.